Chevs of the 40s Community Forum

1953 1/2 Ton

March 2015

John Sorge's 1953 1/2 ton

Letter Sent By John The Sorge family of the Fresno, California area has owned this truck since 1955. My uncle, Eric Sorge bought it used from the local hardware store owner, Dewey Belli. This was the vehicle I remember riding in as I accompanied my uncle on many fishing and hunting trips. He also used the truck for extended hunting trips to most of the Western states pulling a teardrop trailer behind. Eric passed away in 1964 and I began using the truck, first for college travel, then as a daily commuter, after graduation. In the 1970's the original exterior yellow paint job had eroded to the point that I sand blasted the whole exterior. Luckily no major damage was done due to my inexperience as the saving grace was the thickness of the metal on these trucks. I then used 21 spray cans to apply a base coat of gray primer. In 1980 the truck traveled to the Hartford, Connecticut area, in an enclosed moving van, as I made a career move with my family. I used the truck as my commuter vehicle to get to a bus stop. It was perfect for this chore, and a new paint job (back to original color (Yukon Yellow) really stood out when a snow storms came through. As a result of a another career move, in 1983 the truck traveled to Dallas, Texas. Again inside a enclosed van. While in the Dallas area the truck had it's engine rebuilt and the bench seat recovered in the original style and material. In 1989, another career move saw the truck inside a moving van traveling back to California. Since returning to CA, I have made numerous changes to the truck, while trying to maintain its original character. In the early 2000's, a 4 speed tranny and rear end out of an early 60's Blazer replaced the original three on the tree and closed driveline. This made for a more driver friendly truck. In 2014 I had a manual rack and pinion installed. This made the truck steering less of an effort to turn. I did give up some turning radius. I am currently planning to install a 292 cu. in. 6-cyl to improve on street performance.